Wanting to be a good steward of the environment can feel like a daunting task. With so much of the science out there pointing to the likely catastrophic changes that await this marble we call home, it can seem like any effort made by us is frivolous at best. With sea levels rising three millimeters each year as glaciers crumble into a warming Arctic ocean at an accelerated rate, our simple attempts at remedying the situation can easily drive us to cynicism. When our answer to a rapidly warming planet is the adoption of better straws, and our acting chief of the EPA doesn’t consider climate change to be the greatest crisis facing the nation, it can feel like our role in the conversation and action surrounding climate change is moot.
It’s not. We have to be glass-half-full people. We have to rally together. (Also, don’t drink that glass because fresh water is going to be hard to come by in the future. We’ll need it later.)
Pending apocalypse jokes aside, we all need to play our role in being better citizens of the planet. Being a good steward of the environment is not always easy, but that doesn’t have to be that hard, either. We just need some direction. With Earth Day 2019 upon us, we asked Jonathan Zaidman, Director of programming and Impact at the Ecology Center, about what small changes we can all make to benefit the environment.
Be part of the solution, not part of the problem
You don’t have to quit your job, give up technology, and move to a sustainable farm to be a good steward of the environment. If you’ve been lagging on being conscientious about your own carbon footprint because you feel like it’ll upend your life, it won’t.
“We can all be a part of the solution, and must all do so within our individual lives,” Jonathan says, adding, “Banking, education, and food service all comprise of both the challenges and opportunities within our communities. So yes, we can all contribute to a thriving planet within the roles we play. Can we do so without making massive changes? Absolutely. A lot of people making small change contributes to collective, large-scale, sustainable impact.”
It’s important to have some perspective. Sure, you alone cannot save the planet from rising global temperatures, but your contribution to being a better citizen of Earth has a cumulative effect.
What you don’t spend, is more important than what you do
You can’t just throw money at climate change. While we aren’t suggesting that you stop donating money to conservation efforts, sometimes it’s less about the money you spend, and more about the money you don’t.